Suspected Boko Haram men kidnap 20 women in Nigeria

In the latest incident of abduction, armed militants donning military uniforms, suspected to be from Boko Haram group, kidnapped 20 women from a village in Borno state, close to where they had earlier kidnapped over 200 girls.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Jun 10, 2014, 10:06 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Abuja: In the latest incident of abduction, armed militants donning military uniforms, suspected to be from Boko Haram group, kidnapped twenty women from a village in Borno state, close to where they had earlier kidnapped more than 200 girls.

The kidnappings took place on Saturday in the village of Garkin Fulani, just few kilometers away from Chibok, from where 276 girls had been abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, reported the BBC.

The militants kidnapped the women at gunpoint and ferried them in a van to an unknown location in Borno state.

Almost two months after, Boko Haram militants kidnapped more than 270 girls in Nigeria, the outrage has been mounting over the heinous abduction by the militant group.

The Nigeria government and the military have drawn immense flak and complain from the citizens who blame the authorities for inaction and failure to thwart the terrorists despite a state of emergency in the area.

Citing remarks by an official of MACBAN (Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria), the CNN reported that the number of kidnapped women could also be as high as 40 and that all of them were young mothers.

However the Borno state official said that only 20 had been abducted.

According to Alhaji Tar, a member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, three men who had tried to thwart the terrorists, were kidnapped too, said the BBC.

The latest abduction comes two months after the militant group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok province on April 14.

Dozens of girls managed to escape however others remain missing yet.

The girls have been converted to Islam and many of them had been reportedly married to the kidnappers, according to the earlier reports.

A video released by the militant group earlier, showed over 130 missing schoolgirls clad in full-length hijab, reading Quran in an unknown location. 

In the 27-minute video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau demanded the release of jailed comrades in exchange of the kidnapped girls.  

In another video, the same Boko Haram leader had said that the girls were not meant to be in school and it is Allah`s instruction that they must be sold.  

The Nigeria government had snubbed the offer by the militant group to release militants in return for the girls, saying a prisoner swap “is not on the table”.

The US, UK, France and Israel, have been assisting the Nigeria government in searching the girls.  The search for the girls is concentrated in the restive northeast region, where the Boko Haram militants have had their camps and arms cache. 

The US reportedly started flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over the country to help trace the girls. 

Also, the US was mulling over deployment of unmanned drones to aid in the search.

Boko Haram, when translated to English means "Western education is sin".

It was designated as a terrorist organisation in November 2013. It has been launching increasing number of attacks on schools in northern Nigeria, killing and abducting many innocent students.